When the federal government announced a $130 billion stimulus package back in March, international students on temporary visas were excluded.

Like many, they lost their jobs amid the Covid-19 shutdown – but they’re not eligible for Jobkeeper or Jobseeker payments.

In April the state government announced a $13.8 million support package for international students affected by the pandemic and not eligible for wage subsidies. It offered some relief, but many are still struggling to make ends meet.

Enter Ozharvest. The national food-rescue organisation will bring its new “Mobile Market” to several locations around Adelaide from Monday, with free groceries, fresh produce and prepared meals for students.

The Ozharvest team, with volunteers from Insider Guides and StudyAdelaide’s student ambassadors, will set up at Flinders University on Monday, Hindmarsh Square on Tuesday and Friday, Regency TAFE on Tuesday and the University of South Australia Mawson Lakes campus on Wednesday.

“This collaboration is all about true community spirit, where three important local organisations are working together to help and support vulnerable international students in South Australia,” Ozharvest’s state manager Lyndall Vandenberg said in a statement. “We are incredibly proud to be able to initiate this project to try and alleviate some of that stress.

“While our bright yellow food rescue vans continue to provide daily food relief to local charities supporting people in need, the Mobile Market is a temporary extension of this assistance. The food items selected for students to use are highly nutritious staple items such as tinned tomatoes, pasta and baked beans, as well as an assortment of fresh fruit and vegetables.”

More than 750 students are expected to engage with the service next week.

James Martin, the managing director of Insider Guides (an important source of information for international students in Australia), says it’s “crucial that initiatives such as these are in place” to support these students.

“Our audience is telling us that through no fault of their own, many international students have found themselves in a very difficult situation during Covid-19 … We’re very happy to support the Ozharvest Mobile Market and the international student community during this challenging time.”

Ozharvest Mobile Market times:
Flinders University Hub – Monday June 29, 11.30am–12.30pm
TAFE SA Regency Campus –Tuesday June 30, 11.30am–12.30pm
Hindmarsh Square Adelaide – Tuesday June 30, 3–4pm and Friday July 3, 3–4pm
UniSA Mawson Lakes campus – Wednesday July 1, 12.30pm–1.30pm

ozharvest.org/adelaide